cGPA: 3.84 sGPA: 3.7 improvements

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Sep 21, 2009
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I'm a rising 3rd year and in the process of preparing for the MCAT. I was wondeirng if anyone could help me out with what I may be missing from my app, that would help me be considered a stronger application

ECs: shadowing 80hr: anesthesiologist, pediatrician, gen. pracitioner
clinical volunteering: 100 hr at a hospital and oncology clinic
also a volunteer cabin counselor for a diabetic camp
clinical research: 300+ biomechanics lab with Multiple Sclerosis patients
non-clinical volunteering: coach a 8 year old soccer team
also went on a 2 week medical mission trip to Costa Rica
I've also been on a couple leadership councils for some school organization where I helped organize fundraisers (would this count)
also any ideas on how to get leadership at a school with 25,000+ students?

1 red flag: I have a letter of reprimand in my file because some one illegally downloaded a song (not me!) on a wireless router that was connected to my account

Any ideas on how I can enhance my application to get into a top 20 school?

Thanks in advance for your help!
Sep 4, 2006
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Shadowing: excellent.
Clinical experience: good, considering you have the clinical research too. The international service trip is frosting on the cake.
Research: a year is average, two years would be very good, a pub or poster/presentation would be excellent.
Nonmedical community service: camp counselor: not enough. Coaching tends to be seasonal. Some regular, weekly gig would be nice to see over the next year, at least during the off season.
Leadership: the leadership council with fundraising would go here. The leadership would be stronger if you were in charge of coordinating people and committees to get a job done.
Teaching: I'd put the coaching here and be sure to mention it's also community service, unless you want to do some TA/tutoring, which would be stronger. Then the coaching could go under community service.

For top schools, you'll need a stronger leadership experience. You also need regular, weekly community service. Your could get a triple-header by getting involved in a middle school tutoring program as a volunteer, then rising to an organizational role and making some innovations. Leaders also start new organizations, corral their friends into campus cleanup, food pantry collections, soup kitchen cooking, etc, or get elected to positions in organizations and do more than just run meetings.

Also make the research as substantive as possible. Ask for your own project, write the grant for funding, maybe spearhead the IRB approval process (it will be a nightmare) if it's clinical in nature. Of course publications look very, very good.

Did you contest the illegal downlaod? Did they investigate? If at all possible, get exonerated. I don't think this will keep you out of med school, but fighting it is the right thing to do. I know someone who had the same thing happen, got it investigated, and the guilty roommate got targeted. She got a letter of exoneration and a clean record.